Category: Money

Doesn’t Understand The Custom Part Of Customer, Part 10

| UK | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Money

(I work for a well known supermarket delivering groceries to customers at home. As delivery drivers we are given a fairly wide range of power when it comes to refunding customers. We can more or less give away stock at the door providing its worth no more than about £5. That means if I deliver some milk and you aren’t happy with the sell-by date printed on it, I may just give it to you for free. Some customers however seem to think I can push this to insane limits. Customers have asked me to refund and allow them to keep £20 worth of meat produce. But perhaps the most memorable one for me was a customer had ordered a large and expensive bottle of scotch — probably £70 shelf price. The customer found fault with the fact that the cardboard box it came in had been squashed slightly.)

Customer: “This really is unacceptable, I mean this was supposed to be a gift, and look at it.”

Me: “I understand completely; this is very disappointing. I’m sure. I can obviously refund this for you.”

(The customer gets a triumphant look in his eye.)

Me: “I just need to scan the item to issues the refund.”

(The customer hands the bottle over and I scan it and return it to my trays.)

Customer: “Oh, no! I want to keep it!”

Me: “Oh, okay. then let me just cancel that refund.”

Customer: “But I want my refund, too!”

Me: “I am very sorry, but I can’t do that for you. The cost of this item is far too high for me to give it to you for free.”

Customer: “NO! YOU HAVE TO LET ME KEEP IT! THE LAST DRIVER LET ME KEEP MY MILK!”

Me: “Yes, for low value items we have some leeway, but I simply can’t allow you to not pay for an item that costs over £60.”

Customer: “Oh! I can’t just keep anything I want and not pay?”

Me: “No, you can’t. That would be theft.”

Related:
Doesn’t Understand The ‘Custom’ Part Of Customer, Part 8
Doesn’t Understand The ‘Custom’ Part Of Customer, Part 7

That Power Was Just A Rental

| Hampshire, England, UK | Criminal & Illegal, Money

(I am working for one of the major energy companies in the customer service department when I get the following call.)

Customer: “Hi, I think there’s been some mistake. I’ve got this letter but I think it’s an error or something, like maybe the system sent it out by mistake.”

Me: “I can certainly look into that for you. Does the letter come with a reference number?”

(The customer gives me the number. I pull up the account and ask the customer’s name, which is the same as the one on the account, so I confirm security details like date of birth and address to ensure this is the named account holder, and the details all match.)

Me: “What does the letter say? Because the only letters I can see that we sent are your welcome pack and the bill—”

Customer: “That’s exactly it! Why did you send me a bill?”

Me: “We’re your supplier. You used energy, so you have to pay for it.”

Customer: “What? No. I’ve been paying.”

Me: “Okay, let me just check the account to see if I can figure out what’s going on.”

(I check the account. There hasn’t been a single payment, but it looks like the customer is a new tenant who moved in a few months ago, so I check the previous tenant’s account. It’s not uncommon for old tenants to leave behind their payment cards since they won’t be needing it anymore and for new tenants to use it, either by mistake or because they don’t realise they need to get their own card. However, there are no recent payments on the old account either.)

Me: “I’m sorry; I’m not seeing any payments, but if I take some details, I should be able to trace them. First, how much did you pay and when did you pay it?”

Customer: “£600 on the first of every month since September.”

(I become a little suspicious, something isn’t quite right – this seems a ridiculously high amount to pay for gas and electric.)

Me: “Sorry, did you say £600? Six-zero-zero?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “And you said you’ve paid this every month? It’s not the total of all your payments so far?”

Customer: “No, it’s £600 every month. So like… over two grand by now.”

Me: “Who told you to pay that much?”

Customer: “The landlord.”

Me: *starting to see what’s happening* “That’s your rent, isn’t it?”

Customer: “Yeah. I’ve been paying every month without fail.”

Me: “This is for your energy bill, not your rent.”

Customer: “I know. But I’ve been paying my rent, Why do I need to pay for the electric if I’m paying my rent?”

Me: “Does your tenancy agreement say that utilities are included in the rent?”

Customer: “My what?”

Me: “Your tenancy agreement.”

Customer: What’s that?”

Me: “It’s a contract outlining how much rent you pay and the conditions of your tenancy. You would have signed one before you moved in.”

Customer: “Oh. I think I signed something like that. But I pay rent, so I don’t have to pay for my bills. Everything is covered. You shouldn’t be sending me a bill.”

Me: “Unless your tenancy agreement states bills are included, you are liable for the balance. Do you have your tenancy agreement to hand? I’ll go through it with you and help you find the part which details what your rent covers.”

(The customer goes off to fetch the paperwork, and then comes back. I get him to read me the table of contents and I guide him to the page the information we need is likely to be on. I’ve dealt with enough new tenants and disputes of liability to know my way around a tenancy agreement – particularly as most landlords use the same standard template. It’s not uncommon for a landlord to charge an extortionate amount of rent and justify it by claiming it includes utilities but then not pay it, or put the tenant’s name on the bill to try and weasel out of it. I am concerned that this is what is happening to this customer. Then the customer reads aloud to me.)

Customer: “Oh, here we go, this says ‘rent is not inclusive of utilities.’ What does that mean?”

Me: “It means your rent does not include your gas and electric or any other services such as the Internet. So you have to pay this bill. We can discuss payment plans if you cannot pay it all in one go.”

Customer: “But… but I pay rent.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but your rent only covers you for the property, not any of the bills, unless the tenancy agreement says otherwise which yours does not.”

Customer: “You have my name on the bill… How did you get it? I didn’t call you.”

Me: “It looks like the landlord sent us all your details when you moved in.”

Customer: *smugly* “Well, I’m not liable for the bill. He is.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we’ve already established that is not the case. You live in the property and are responsible for all the bills—”

Customer: “Look, I’m studying law at uni. I know my rights. I didn’t sign a contract with you, so you can’t bill me without my permission. If my landlord did it, well, that’s fraud.”

Me: “That’s not how it works with utilities, sir. We were your supplier when you moved in, therefore you or your landlord were obligated to inform us that you moved in.”

Customer: “But you don’t have my signature on a piece of paper giving you permission, right?”

Me: “Like I said, we don’t need it; we’re a utility company.”

Customer: *laughs* “Yeah, good luck with that, lady. You’ll never get a penny from me. I know the law; I’m top in my class. You need my signature, and I need to be fully aware of entering a legal, binding contract.”

Me: “So you’re saying you won’t pay unless you signed a legally binding document agreeing to do so?”

Customer: “That’s right.”

Me: “Your tenancy agreement is a legally binding document. Would you agree?”

Customer: “I’m not f****** stupid; of course it is. It’s a f****** tenancy agreement.”

Me: “Go to the next section, the heading should be ‘tenant’s obligations.’ Read me what it says.”

Customer: *pauses, groaning down the phone* “Fine. But I don’t see what an agreement you said was just for the property has to do with this bill…”

(Customer begins reading. The first line says they must pay rent on time and then the very next line is: Tenant MUST pay ALL utility bills. As soon as the customer reads this line they pause and the line goes quiet for a while.)

Me: “Would you like to pay the bill in full, or would you like to set up a payment plan?”

Customer: “You think you’re so f****** clever. This doesn’t change anything. I’m not paying the f****** bill, I never agreed I would, and I’m paying my rent so I shouldn’t have to! I know my rights! I’m a law student!”

(The customer started going on and on about how he knew his rights, how he’d never pay because he was paying rent, and how if he was paying rent it was illegal for us to charge him for energy. The call was going nowhere and the customer was getting more and more aggressive by the minute, swearing up a storm. In the end, I informed the customer of the consequences if he didn’t pay and informed him that unless he wished to discuss payment, then I would terminate the call because it was going around in circles. The customer then threatened to come down to the office and (his exact words) “smash your face in,” so I terminated the call, informing the customer as I did so as per company policy. The customer called back and asked to talk to my manager, trying to get me fired by claiming that I swore at him, called him an idiot, and that I threatened him. Obviously I didn’t, so I wasn’t fired.)

Making Wild Claims

| OR, USA | Criminal & Illegal, Money

(I work in an insurance call center for mental health and substance abuse. We get some real gems, usually regarding unpaid claims. This caller is asking about two claims that were paid inaccurately with the wrong amounts and wrong provider name.)

Me: “Okay, I see the issue. The claim form asked for the doctor’s tax ID number, and it wasn’t included. Because of that, our system searched by her name and paid according to this incorrect doctor’s rates.”

(Keep in mind, the actual check went to the patient, my caller.)

Caller: “I put it in there.”

Me: “I’m looking at the scan of your claim forms and you put in their license number.”

Caller: “But I also put in the NPI [National Provider Identification] number.”

Me: “Right, but that’s not the Tax ID number. We asked for the NPI later on the form and you filled that out perfectly, but on this line we needed the Tax ID.”

Caller: *seeing his error* “Oh, well, the provider didn’t include that on her bill.”

Me: “Some providers don’t give it out unless you ask. But we do need it to pay the claim.”

Caller: “But you paid the claim already, so it’s no big deal.”

Me: “Well, it is to your provider. Our systems need to show who we’re paying correctly so she can prove it on her taxes, just in case. Also, the incorrect provider will probably ask us to reverse the transaction so she doesn’t get incorrect info for her taxes.”

Caller: “But you paid me. So it’s not an issue.”

Me: “Right, but that’s because you paid your provider. So technically we paid for your service.”

Caller: “Oh. So can I call her and get the Tax ID and call you back and have you fix it?”

Me: “I’m really sorry, but we can’t take her tax info from you verbally. She can call it in and I can reprocess the claim, or you can resubmit the claim to us with it corrected.”

Caller: *annoyed* “So you trust me to submit it by paper, but not by phone?”

Me: “If you submit it to us on a claim, that’s a claim submission. If I tell you to go get it from her and call back, I’m soliciting her tax information from you. And that’s potentially fraud, and I’ve been told by my supervisor that our company is against fraud, even at the expense of our customer’s convenience.”

Caller: “Okay… Sounds like you’re punishing me for making a simple mistake.”

Me: “On the contrary. If you put in the time to get the claim submitted to us correctly, you will be rewarded with fraud-free payment of your service. If you decide not to, your provider could potentially sue you and us. So submitting the claim again is the opposite of a punishment.”

Caller: “Goodbye.” *click*

Wish It Had Taken A Quarter Of The Time

| WA, USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Money, Wild & Unruly

(A mother and her adult daughter come into our store and proceed to be all kinds of trouble to everyone they see, including calling one of my coworkers a “little person” (and she’s around 5’6″, same as they are), knocking a child down with their cart “because she won’t move,” demanding products we don’t have, trying to go into employees-only areas, etc. FINALLY they come up to my register, where they break something and blame it on me, even though it hasn’t even come out of their cart yet. They also lecture me for five minutes about how my job is “not a joke” for no reason. After they go to leave, the mom comes back and wants to cut line and buy a candy bar. I just let her so that she’ll leave faster, and ask a coworker to hop on another register to serve the people who are waiting.)

Me: “Okay, that will be $2.99.”

(She hands me a $5 bill. I open my cash drawer to realize I just ran out of $1 bills. The manager who can get me change has just been called away.)

Me: “Do you mind if $1 of your change is in quarters? I just ran out of $1 bills and it will be a few minutes to get more.”

Customer: “No, that’s fine.”

(I proceed to hand her four quarters, a $1 bill, and a penny: $2.01 change.)

Me: “Here you go. Sorry again about the quarters. Have a good one.”

Customer: “Thanks!”

(Suddenly, the daughter LUNGES at me.)

Daughter: “YOU DIDN’T GIVE PROPER CHANGE! THAT IS NOT THE RIGHT CHANGE! FIX IT!”

Me: “Um, it is the proper change, $2.01. I gave her $1 in quarters because I ran out of bills.”

Customer: “Yes, honey, this is correct. I need the quarters anyway.”

Daughter: “NO! IT IS NOT RIGHT! GIVE HER THE RIGHT CHANGE NOW!”

(I’ve had it with these two at this point, so I take the change back from the customer and lay it on the counter.)

Me: “Okay, let’s count. $1, that is the bill. $1.25, bill plus one quarter. $1.50, bill plus two quarters. $1.75, bill plus three quarters. $2.00, bill plus four quarters. Four quarters makes a dollar, you see? And finally, $2.01; bill plus four quarters plus a penny. That is the correct change.”

(The mother is embarrassed at this point, but doing nothing to stop her daughter.)

Daughter: “NO! IT’S NOT RIGHT! YOU’RE TRYING TO STEAL FROM MY MOM!”

Me: “I literally have no other way I can explain this. I will call a manager.”

(I had to call a manager to confirm to the daughter that I gave her mother proper change. She still didn’t get it, and her mother just dragged her out yelling. How do you make it to around at least 25 years old without knowing four quarters makes a dollar?)

It’s Going To Be One Of Those Months

| Cornwall, England, UK | Crazy Requests, Health & Body, Money

(I work in a dispensary (basically a pharmacy) and we’re only allowed to give out one month’s supply of medication at any given time. This isn’t by our choice; it’s a standard set by the board. One patient comes in to get her medication. I go and get her prescription and she pays when this happens:)

Patient: “Excuse me, this is only a month’s supply. The doctor told me I was on a three month course.”

Me: “Yes, that’s right. We’re only allowed to give out a month’s worth of medication at a time.”

Patient: “But the doctor told me I was on this for three months.”

(At this point, one of the older dispensers behind me chimes in.)

Colleague: “It’s a three month course, meaning that you’re on that medication for three months, but we can only give out one month at a time.”

Patient: “Can I speak to the doctor about this?”

Colleague: “You could but this isn’t a standard set by us. It’s a nation-wide standard.”

Patient: “So I have to come in once a month and pay?!”

Colleague: “Yes.”

Patient: “This is extortion! I would like a complaint form!”

(After about another five minutes of this back and forth, the patient finally went on her way. Do you know what our ‘extortionate’ price is for keeping people alive? £8.05.)

Page 11/225First...910111213...Last